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880 Pretty Good

 Learning under Yuan Zhou? Little Zhao blinked, feeling completely lost.

"Sure, come with me to eat at Head Chef Yuan's place in a few days," Cao Zhishu decided after thinking about it.

"Thank you, master," Little Zhao was pleasantly surprised, but at the same time, a complicated feeling welled within him. Knowing Yuan Zhou could actually bring him such a benefit.

After all, being brought along by his master was an honor. But it seemed like his master seemed to have misunderstood something. But looking at Cao Zhishu, Little Zhao did not know how to explain himself and could only turn around and leave.

"Ok, resume your work," Cao Zhishu waved his hand and continued watching Yuan Zhou.

As for Yuan Zhou, after he finished eating Shu Restaurant's signature dish, a new dish, Sauteed White Lotus, arrived. This was a vegetable dish, one that could relieve the spiciness and greasiness in his mouth.

Cao Zhishu had arranged even the sequence of the dishes properly. He would first serve a heavy meat dish before serving a vegetable dish, followed by a lighter meat dish. With this, the people eating could enjoy the taste of the dishes yet would not feel that the food was too greasy. This was a sequence he had taken great care in formulating.

And towards the end, Cao Zhishu served a heavy meat dish, Sichuan's Meatballs with Soy Sauce.

This was a dish of meatballs, and among the various cuisines, meatballs occupied a high status. Meatball dishes would only be served during important occasions.

In the south, meatballs would always be served as the third dish, signifying completion and success. Meatballs would also be served during Chinese New Year's eves, signifying reunion of the family.

Even during other festivals such as the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-autumn Festival, meatballs would not be served.

And in the north, meatballs were known as the balls of four happiness, serving as main dishes during main festivals or joyous occasions.

"Head Chef Cao is indeed attaching great importance to this exchange," Yuan Zhou muttered as he looked at the glossy and plump meatballs.

The Sichuan's Meatballs with Soy Sauce was a popular dish at Zhang Daqian's residence. And at that time, Zhang Xueliang, Zhang Daqian, Zhang Qun and Wang Xinheng would take turns treating each other to meals, popularly known as The Exchange of Three Zhangs and One Wang.

And since both Zhang Daqian and Zhang Qun were locals of Sichuan, their exchange would heavily feature Sichuan Cuisine. The Sichuan's Meatballs with Soy Sauce was one of the dishes that had been created during that time.

Naturally, Shu Restaurant's version of this dish was a restored version rather than the traditional version.

"The portion isn't too big. Just perfect for me to finish," Yuan Zhou muttered as he eyed the meatballs that were as big as half a fist.

Then, he started eating.

"It's not spicy, the meat was minced evenly, but the chopping board is somewhat lacking as there are some variant flavors mixed within. Indeed, the system-provided utensils are still the best." As usual, Yuan Zhou ate with no change in his expression.

"I wonder if I can restore the Sichuan's Meatballs with Soy Sauce as well," Yuan Zhou's mind started wandering after he realized that this dish was not as good as the dishes earlier.

And finally, a plain soup was served. Within the soup were bright red Sichuan peppers. Therefore, when the soup entered his mouth, it gave off a slight numbing taste. But this provocation was just nice to refresh his taste buds.

"The soup is very good," Yuan Zhou said as he set down the bowl after finishing the soup.

Right after Yuan Zhou set down the bowl, Cao Zhishu walked out with a wide smile.

"Head Chef Yuan, sorry for the bad services of my restaurant," said Cao Zhishu politely.

"Not at all, it is pretty good," Yuan Zhou said earnestly.

"Haha, good to hear. I wonder what is your evaluation of my skills?" Cao Zhishu asked politely.

"Erm... pretty good," Yuan Zhou wanted to voice his actual thoughts when he recalled that this was a friendly match and he should not be voicing his opinions. Therefore, he changed what he said instead.

"That's good to hear. As long as you are satisfied," Cao Zhishu was only asking out of politeness. He had never expected Yuan Zhou to say anything anyway. The so-called exchange or friendly match was held for both sides to gain more understanding of the other side in the first place.

Simply put, when Cao Zhishu tried Yuan Zhou's food tomorrow, he would have an idea about Yuan Zhou as well, just like how Yuan Zhou had now gained an idea about him. This was how friendly matches between chefs would always unfold.

"Um, thank you," Yuan Zhou nodded.

"Haha, what does Boss Yuan think of this restaurant?" Cao Zhishu asked.

"Very good," Yuan Zhou nodded.

They sank into a short silence before Yuan Zhou said, "It's getting late. I will be leaving now."

"Sure. I know you still need to open your restaurant tonight. I won't be keeping you here, then," said Cao Zhishu as he brought Yuan Zhou to the elevator.

"Um." Yuan Zhou nodded his head.

While walking, Cao Zhishu spoke, "Boss Yuan, you are welcomed to visit in the future whenever you are free. I still have some good teas that you haven't gotten to taste today. I will treat you to tea next time."

"Pre-Ming Tea?" Yuan Zhou asked instinctively.

"Haha, how will I have something that good? But I am still able to get some Lianxin Tea. We can try it next time," Cao Zhishu said while rubbing his bald head.

"Um, you are also welcomed to come and visit my restaurant for tea, Head Chef Cao," Yuan Zhou extended an invitation as well.

"Sure. Shall I send you back to your restaurant?" asked Cao Zhishu after they walked out of the restaurant.

"Don't worry about it," Yuan Zhou said.

"Are you sure?" Cao Zhishu asked.

"Yes. Thank you," Yuan Zhou said.

"Sure. I won't say much. See you tomorrow at your restaurant," said Cao Zhishu.

"Ok," Yuan Zhou nodded seriously.

"See you tomorrow, Head Chef Yuan," Cao Zhishu said.

Yuan Zhou nodded and turned around, and walked away along the bamboo alley.

Time passed, and the next day arrived. It was time for Cao Zhishu to visit Yuan Zhou's restaurant.

Cao Zhishu arrived as a representative of the Shu Restaurant, with Little Zhao tagging along. It had been less than two years since Little Zhao had joined the Shu Restaurant. Even if Cao Zhishu was going to bring someone along, it wasn't supposed to be Little Zhao. But due to the incident yesterday, Cao Zhishu found out that Little Zhao and Yuan Zhou knew each other, hence he decided to bring Little Zhao along.

Cao Zhishu had displayed proper etiquette when Yuan Zhou visited. Likewise, Yuan Zhou would not neglect the proper etiquette. Coincidentally, Meng Meng was here to film Yuan Zhou's ice sculpting. Recently, Yuan Zhou's ice sculptures had been rather popular.

And thus, Yuan Zhou did not close his restaurant and let Meng Meng look over his restaurant while he went to the intersection to welcome Cao Zhishu. Cao Zhishu had called when he was getting near.

A friendly match was supposed to maintain its casual nature. Therefore, Yuan Zhou did not intend to announce this event online. Since Boss Yuan had already said so, Meng Meng acted appropriately and shut her streaming devices after asking for a leave from her fans.

Meng Meng was now part of a group. She had been offered a lucrative contract by a certain streaming platform, and she was now known as the Big Sister of that streaming platform. A year ago, she was still a relatively unknown streamer. This was quite a big transformation.

"I am so sorry to trouble Boss Yuan for personally waiting here," Cao Zhishu immediately greeted when he saw Yuan Zhou. Despite his tall and sturdy built, he was a very polite person. Beside him, Little Zhao had no other choice but to extend his greetings as well.

After exchanging greetings, Yuan Zhou led the way towards his restaurant. Little Zhao silently followed along. As for Cao Zhishu, he was quite familiar with Taoxi Road since he had been here before. Although Little Zhao had heard a lot about this road online, this was still his first time here.

Presently, Yuan Zhou's restaurant was still leading in terms of reviews in the various food websites focusing on Sichuan Cuisine.

The reason Little Zhao was behaving this way was because he could not accept the fact that the guy doing odd-jobs for him in the past was now someone he had to look up to. The saying where one would only believe what one wanted to believe was true.